Skip to main content

About this Show

PBS News Hour

News/Business. Jim Lehrer, Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff. (2010) New. (CC) (Stereo)

NETWORK
PBS

DURATION
00:59:59

RATING

SCANNED IN
San Francisco, CA, USA

SOURCE
Comcast Cable

TUNER
Channel 93 (639 MHz)

VIDEO CODEC
mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
704

PIXEL HEIGHT
480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Us 10, America 9, Jamison 8, U.s. 8, Washington 7, Tom Miller 6, Obama 5, Judith Jamison 5, Abu Ghraib 5, Brown 4, John Morris 4, Koran 4, Iowa 4, Florida 4, Afghanistan 4, United States 3, David Chalian 3, Jim 3, Alvin Ailee 3, Jeffrey Brown 3,
Borrow a DVD
of this show
  PBS    PBS News Hour    News/Business. Jim Lehrer, Gwen Ifill,  
   Judy Woodruff.  (2010) New. (CC) (Stereo)  

    September 7, 2010
    3:00 - 4:00pm PDT  

3:00pm
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> lehrer: good evening. i'm jim lehrer. new polls show increasing bad news for democrats heading into the midterm elections. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. on the newshour tonight, political editor david chalian sorts through the numbers and what they mean for the president's plans to boost the economy. >> lehrer: then jeffrey brown talks to tom bearden in chile about rescuing those 33 miners, trapped now for over a month. >> they seem for the most part, those we talked to, in pretty good spirits until you talk to them for a while and then you find out there's a great deal of anxiety and a great deal of
3:01pm
concerns for their loved ones. >> ifill: we examine the firestorm surrounding a plan to burn the koran at a church in florida, as general david petraeus warns it could incite violence against american troops. >> lehrer: judy woodruff looks at the web site craigslist and the changes in its adult service's section. >> ifill: and we have an encore profile of one of the most renowned figures in modern dance, judith jamison, who was honored with a tribute at the white house today. >> lehrer: that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
3:02pm
and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible
3:03pm
by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> lehrer: two new polls released today show democrats in deep trouble with november's midterm elections less than two months away. newshour correspondent kwame holman begins our coverage. >> reporter: the polls paint a grim picture for the president and congressional democrats. according to an abc news/"washington post" survey, 46% of the country approves of the job mr. obama is doing as president while 52% disapprove. in the fight for control of congress, meanwhile, republicans hold a 53-40 advantage among those most interested in voting this fall. a separate nbc news/wall street journal poll meanwhile showed 61% of americans thinks the country is on the wrong track while just 30% says it's
3:04pm
headed in the right direction. that survey also shows that the country has grown increasingly pessimistic about the chances the economy will improve in the next 12 months. about a quarter believe it will get better. a sharp drop from 47% who felt that way this time last year. as part of the president's effort to turn that number around, he plans to unveil tomorrow in cleveland a proposal to allow businesses to write off 100% of new capital investments through the end of next year. administration officials say it could save businesses $200 billion over the next two years. white house spokesman robert gibbs said the plan was not simply an election-year strategy. >> this is about long-term economic growth. this isn't about the next 60 days or the next 90 days. this is about how do we get our economy fully back on track? how do we get the millions that want to work back to work? and how do we repair the economic damage that's been
3:05pm
going on not just over the past two years but over the past ten years? >> reporter: house republican leader john boehner dismissed the proposal. in a statement boehner said the white house is missing the big picture. none of its plans address the two big problems that are hurting our economy: excessive government spending and the uncertainty that their policies, especially the massive tax hike they have planned for january 1, is creating for small businesses. that was a reference to the coming battle over whether to extend bush era tax cuts especially those for high-wage earners, likely to lead to another election-year showdown between republicans and democrats. david, the poll questions about >> lehrer: and to newshour political editor david chalian. ho do you trust about the economy are most interesting, are they not? >> without a doubt, jim, because as you know when you look at polls the numbers tell you something but more importantly the trends tell you the story. take a look when voters are asked which party do you trust
3:06pm
more to handle the economy, which as you know is the number-one issue, today 42% say the democrats. 40% say the republicans. they're basically splitting that vote. but look at where it was just a month ago in july. republicans only 34% of americans said that they trusted them. they increased six points in trust to handle the most important issue in just a month. that is a trend that has been going on for a year now that democrats are losing ground on that key trust on the major number-one issue. >> lehrer: and when they are asked and when they read those polls correctly, when they say democrats, they mean president obama and his administration, but they also mean members of congress as well, right? it is seen as one big blob there, right? >> one big blob is right. i mean, they're inex-trickably linked. president obama and the congressional democrats up on the hill are really marrieded here. president obama and his advisors have made that case to democrats on capitol hill
3:07pm
saying our fortunes are tied to your fortunes when they were trying to get health care passed, when they were trying to get their agenda through. they said don't run away from us yet. we're eight weeks away from election day. you see a lot of democrats in very tough districts really starting to put distance between themselves and the national democrats, president obama, speaker pelosi. >> lehrer: you also believe looking further at those polls about dissatisfaction with government. there's stuff in there that needs to be noted as well, correct some. >> awe-i have looked all year long. it's this volatility, almost anger that exists inside the electorate. take a look at these numbers because this is fascinating when you look at it through history. today 78% of respondents say tler dissatisfied or angry with government and how government works versus 22% who are satisfied or enthusiastic. compare that, jim, to november 1994. you remember bill clinton was president. newt gingrich, the republican revolution and the takeover of the house of representatives, you are seeing more
3:08pm
dissatisfaction and anger in the electorate now than you did when republicans won 54 seats and took over the house. >> lehrer: now these two words d dissatisfaction" and "anger." parse those for us. >> the the way pollster asks the question. you have four different options. are you dissatisfied, satisfied, angry, enthusiastic. it's the spectrum. they combine dissatisfaction and anger. but let me tell you when you separate it out and you look just at the anger, this is where you see the intensity gap. this is actually what is giving republicans their fuel, this campaign season. because that anger portion is growing larger and larger. that's why in kwame's piece when you saw likely voters how they plan to vote, 53% say a republican. 40% say a democrat. that's 13% gap, jim, is the largest since 1981 when the "washington post" and abc news began that poll. >> lehrer: underline that anger, of course. there are some realities of
3:09pm
unemployment, housing , all of the basic needs that people have and expect the government to take care of. they're all under there. that's where the anger comes from, correct? >> correct. as you just pointed out in the issues you listed there, those are all economic issues. housing, jobs, sort of economic security issues is what's fueling this anger because people aren't feeling secure in the economy right now. in fact, you saw in kwame's piece they have such a poor outlook that only a quarter of the country believes the economy is getting better. so they're very pessimistic about the economy. >> lehrer: there's no way, do you believe, to separate how people feel about barack obama versus how they -- and their anger about these economic issues and all these other things. are the two... put them together. >> sure. take a look on this notion. we asked people. we asked voters, do you want to vote for a democrat this year because you want to support barack obama's agenda or do you want to vote for a
3:10pm
republican because you want him to have a check and a balance against president obama? take a look here. 55% say they want to put the republicans in charge because they want a check against president obama versus 39% who want the democrats in charge to support his agendnda. again another trend if you look back in july there that is growing in the republican favor. >> lehrer: and the heart of the dissatisfaction, the anger, whatever it is for any given voter about barack obama is, is it related directly to these issues? are there other fringe things involved as well? >> i think the economy is overwhelming everything. we were seeing for much of this year this notion that they weren't taking it out on barack obama, the president, quite as much as congressional democrats. his popularity was still hanging up there. now that's beginning to take a hit though. empathy, does he share your values? does he represent your troubles and understand your problems? those kinds of personality questions are now starting to see the numbers are taking a
3:11pm
toll on barack obama right now. he's coming down in that category as well. people are starting to combine that it is really his fault. which is really just to say barack obama has been there for nearly two years and completely owns this economy. >> lehrer: david, thank you. >> my pleasure. >> ifill: still to come on the newshour, the vigil at the chilean mine; the flare-up over burning the koran; the cleanup at craigslist; and the celebration of dancer judith jamieson. but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan in our newsroom. >> sreenivasan: a gunman dressed in an iraqi army uniform killed two u.s. soldiers and wounded nine others in iraq today. the americans were meeting with iraqi forces at an army compound north of baghdad when an argument broke out. the gunman was shot and killed. the fatalities mark the first american military deaths since u.s. combat operations ended a week ago. in pakistan, a suicide car bomb ripped through a police compound, killing at least 20 people, many of them women and children. it happened in the northwestern
3:12pm
city of kohat. the blast brought down a number of houses and buildings near the police compound. it was the latest in a string of attacks by militants, and came just hours after the taliban threatened more suicide attacks on government targets. demonstrators took to the streets in more than 200 cities across france today to protest a government plan to raise the retirement age. it is one of a series of austerity measures under consideration. we have a report narrated by lindsey hilsum of independent television news. >> reporter: they beat drums and chanted against president sarkozy's attempt to raise the pension age to 62. in lyons, they turned out despite the rain. >> i'm 57 so it's three years before i retire. i started work at 16. so i really do want to retire at 60. >> reporter: and here they protested with vuvuzelas left over from france's defeat in
3:13pm
the world cup. and in this city striking farm workers even got a cow on to the streets. hundreds of thousands of demonstrators brought parts of paris to a standstill. the government says it has to raise the retirement age to plug a black hole in the state's pension pot and because life expectancy has increased. the plan is for full benefits to be delayed from 65 to 67. president sarkozy says he remains firm. but might compromise with the unions and keep pensionable age lower for those who start work young or do hard manual labor. >> the government won't be able to behave as if nothing happened today. yes, this is an event with real social impact. >> in our country there are three million people who started work before the age of 19. they're already 42, 43, 44 years old. when they reach 60 you tell them wait a couple more years. where's the justice in that? >> reporter: more than half of
3:14pm
france's trains were at a standstill today. planes were also grounded. another blow to the economy. opinion polls show that two- thirds of voters think it unfair to raise the retirement age. they don't believe these strikes will change anything. >> sreenivasan: a 24-hour labor strike also crippled public transit for millions of commuters in london today. much of the city's underground rail system was closed as workers protested government plans to cut jobs. australian prime minister julia gillard cobbled together enough lawmakers to form a new government today. two independent members of parliament agreed to join her labor party, resolving more than two weeks of election impasse. at a news conference, gillard promised a stable and effective government, even with only a one-seat majority. >> what the australian people told us-- and they told us this in no uncertain terms on that day and on the days that have followed-- is this: that we will be held accountable than ever before and more than any government in modern memory.
3:15pm
we will be held to higher standards of transparency and reform. >> sreenivasan: gillard will lead australia's first minority government in more than 65 years. she is also australia's first female prime minister. a series of strong aftershocks rocked christchurch, new zealand, days after a powerful 7.1 magnitude quake. all told, about 20 aftershocks hit overnight. scientists predicted they will continue for several weeks, with the worst likely still to come. the city center remained cordoned off by troops today as crews continued to clean up. no one was killed in the quake and only two people were seriously injured. in comparison, the january earthquake in haiti of a similar magnitude killed 230,000 people. tropical storm hermine lost some of its steam as it moved from the gulf of mexico into texas. but it still dumped heavy rains overnight and knocked out power to 35,000 homes in the rio grande valley. flash flood warnings and watches were issued for much of texas and oklahoma. as it moved north, hermine was expected to weaken to a tropical depression, but its effects were
3:16pm
forecast to continue all the way to kansas later this week. in colorado today, firefighters intensified their fight against a wildfire burning outside boulder, as 3,000 people were forced to evacuate. the blaze started early monday in four mile canyon. since then heavy smoke has blanketed the area, and flames have scorched nearly six square miles, destroying dozens of homes. the cause of the fire remains unknown, but officials said there's no indication it was intentionally set. the number of americans who smoke held steady in the latest government report. one in five adults-- or 46 million americans-- smoke regularly, according to the centers for disease control and prevention. since 2004, the smoking rate has basically been flat. and a separate report found nearly all children who live with a smoker have measurable tobacco toxins in their bodies. chicago's longtime mayor, richard daley, won't be running for reelection in 2011. the democrat announced his decision today at city hall, citing personal reasons. he said it felt like the time was right to step aside.
3:17pm
daley presided over the nation's third-largest city for 21 years, like his father did before him. on wall street today, trading was light but stocks fell on renewed concerns about european banks. the dow jones industrial average lost 107 points to close above 10,340. the nasdaq fell nearly 25 points to close above 2208. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to jim. >> lehrer: now to the chile miners story. it's been more than a month since that mine collapsed in northern chile. 33 miners have survived. that's a world record for staying alive underground. but there's no firm date on when the miners might be rescued. newshour correspondent tom bearden is covering the story for us. jeffrey brown talked to him this afternoon. >> brown: tom, give us an update first on where things stand with the rescue efforts. there's three separate plans at this point, right? >> that's right. there are. the first plan which is
3:18pm
located up on the hill over there. frank can pan over and show it to us. option number one it's called. that's a drilling machine that's in the process of trying to drill a hole that's large enough to be able to retrieve the miners in a steel capsule that would be hauled up from a half mile underneath the ground. you can't see the other two options. one of them is is not here yet but the second option is to enlarge the communications hole that's been in place now for a week and possibly make that large enough to do the same thing. remove the miners out through the capsule. the third option is arriving tomorrow. a huge drilling rig that will arrive here from the airport on 42 different trucks. it's an oil drilling rig. it will be assemblyed on the far side of the mountain. it would be the fastest of the options but since it's getting a much later start than the others , it would expected to be arrive at the same time as the first two options. assuming that all goes as planned they think that this whole process will take between two and three months although there is one report out there that said it could
3:19pm
take as long as christmas. >> brown: can you give us more of a feel for the site and the size and the scope of the operation there. >> sure. we're basically located right here on a saddle between two mountains. it's sort of a spoil area for the rock that's been removed from this mine which has been in use by the way for almost 100 years although heavily commercial for only about the last 30. as you can see there's granite walls all across this area. and there are shrines to the 33 miners that have been set up by their families. pictures of the miners, expressions of love, hope and good will. it's a pretty kay on theic scene because this is the main entrance to the mine. heavy trucks come down this road every few minutes. they stir up dust, create a lot of noise. camped right next to that are a number of the families of the fellows who are trapped down underneath the ground. they're literally camped right the road. they're doing their best to survive there. they seem for the most part those that we've talked to in pretty good spirits until you talk to them for a little while. you find out that there's a
3:20pm
great deal of anxiety and a great deal of concern for their loved ones. >> brown: i know there are ongoing efforts to keep the men entertain and as comfortable as possible. i understand they watched a soccer game today. is that right. >> they're watching it as we speak. it started about a half an hour ago. they were able to get a small projector down through the four-inch communication hole and a roll-up screen. we're told that's been set up in the rock wall inside the quarters where the men are living. they're watching the game. coincidentally just down the street from here there's a tent where some of the miners' families are also watching the same game. i guess this that sense you could say they're sharing this as a community experience. we're pretty sure-- although i don't speak spanish-- that the announcers of that game are probably talking to the miners directly and talking to the families as well. >> brown: i gather you talked to authorities today about one miner with a medical issue they're trying to deal with. >> a couple of days ago one of the miners apparently wound up with a problem with his urinary tract. we spoke to the chief medical
3:21pm
officer who is superviseing the 14 doctors dealing with these miners. a doctor can't go down that four inch hole and physically put hands on a patient so they're doing this all by remote control. there is a young man down there who has minor medical training from an earlier career. he's been helping them administer shots and vaccinations for various things like tetanus and typhoid. but they were preparing to instruct him on how to perform a minor operation on this miner to try to correct the problem he was having urinating. >> brown: what about the overall level in confidence in the rescue at this point. what are the officials saying? >> we spoke to the governor today. she told us that there is every confidence that this operation will be completed successfully. it is an expensive operation. we asked her about the cost. there are various estimates about what this is costing, but $10 million seems to be the number that's most frequently circulated. they're cautious in the sense that they don't know what they may encounter as they drill
3:22pm
through all of this rock strata. the machine we showed you a minute ago when it got down about 30 feet was forced to stop. they had to cement because there was a fault line running through that section of rock. they were concerned that they needed to prevent any possible flooding so they started back up again. that's the kind of challenge that all of these drilling rigs will face. those are the sorts of things that are not predictable. >> brown: i know you're looking into some of the psychological health issues for a story tomorrow. right? >> that's right. we've spoken to a number of medical professionals about the processes that they're doing. they're having to do the same thing as the medical doctors, talk to them through fiber optic television lines. they're on the alert for potential problems with depression and men who might have reached the breaking point. they're doing what they can in terms of counseling and also other kinds of support like better food and better water. >> brown: we'll look for that. tom beardon in chile, thanks. >> my pleasure.
3:23pm
>> ifill: anti-muslim rhetoric from the pastor of a small florida church sparks concern around the world. crimes of death to america and long live islam rang out in kabul monday as protesters burned the american flag. this man is effigy. his anti-islamic pronouncements have now inflamed passions around the globe. >> islam is of the devil. >> this saturday he's vowed to mark the anniversary of the 9/11 attack by burning copies of the islamic holy book the koran. >> i think what we are doing through our action, we are revealing that actually islam is much more dangerous, much more violent than people would like to believe. >> ifill: the provocation, the latest shoe to drop in a continuing debate over religious freedom and
3:24pm
tolerance sparked response from senior u.s. officials. david petraeus, the top general in afghanistan, said jones's plan is dangerous. >> it puts our soldiers in jeopardy very likely. i think in fact images from such an activity could very well be used by extremists here and around the world. >> ifill: asked whether he was endangering americans, jones said.... >> we are putting our own life at risk. we have received over 100 death threats. some of them being very graphic. some of them stating exactly when they will come, how they will kill us, what they will do. i mean, of course. but then again does that not show and reveal the nature of islam. i think what we are doing is long overdue. we are revealing again the violence of islam that is much much deeper than we would like to admit. >> ifill: state department spokesman p.j. crowley today call the planned burning unamerican and said the potential images could stir old resent manys.
3:25pm
>> it can have at least as powerful an impact as the tragic events and photos that abu ghraib had. but at the same time, you know, people around the world need to also understand that america is not represented by one pastor or 50 followers. we are a nation of 300 million people. the vast majority of americans are standing up this week and saying that, you know, these contemplated actions are inappropriate. they're and hornet. they should not happen. >> ifill: many afghans appear to believe joneses views are widely held in the u.s. we spoke to jean mckenzie of global post who is reporting in kabul. >> this koran-burning campaign, which has been mounted by the dove world outreach center in florida, coming on the heels of the ground zero mosque debate is starting to convince afghans that there is a strong islam-phobic strain in the united states and in the west in general.
3:26pm
trying to convince them that this is a very small group of people and does not represent the united states so far has been an uphill battle. >> ifill: in washington, a group of inter-faith leaders gathered today to denounce what they see as creeping islam-phobia. an evangelical christian:. >> those mainly conservative christians who are responding to their muslim brothers and sisters, their fellow americans with anti-muslim bigotry or hatred , they are openly rejecting, you see, the first amendment principles of religious liberty which we as evangelical christians benefit daily. watch out for so casually trampling on the religious liberty of others. you may be able to do that when you are the majority.
3:27pm
but if you undermine liberty for other people's children today , your own children may one day see their religious liberties deprived from them. >> ifill: this is not the first time desecration of the koran has stirred emotion. in 2005 "newsweek" reported that interrogators at the guantanamo bay detention facility flushed the koran down the toilet. 15 people died and scores were wounded in protest. also that year a danish newspaper cartoon depicted the prophet mohammed as a terrorist which also led to protests and violence. for more on all this, we're joined by marc lynch, the director of the institute for middle east studies at george washington university's elliott school of international affairs. he also blogs about the middle east for foreignpolicy.com. welcome. >> one pastor. 50 members of this small church and yet they have
3:28pm
general petraeus, the most powerful general in afghanistan weighing in on this. the state department weighing in on this. why was this significant, what's going on down there? >> i think it is is significant because people over there do pay attention to what happens inside the united states. i think this has gotten a lot of attention because people feel that it says something about what america really is. i mean, you know, we've been trying ever since the bush administration to convince the muslim world that we're against extremists. we're in favor of good relations with the islamic world and with muslims. and then when they see images like this and they see especially the signs and the images and something that's graphic as burning the koran, then they say to themselves, maybe that's not true. maybe al qaeda is right and it is america against islam. >> ifill: this then undercuts big speeches that the president gives, for instance, about friendship with the muslim world. >> that's exactly right. you know, it's not just president obama. he's done a phenomenal job, in my opinion, of trying to bridge that cap. president bush did the same
3:29pm
thing. really trying to make it clear that we were not at war with islam. we respected islam. this has been a bipartisan part of how america has tried to deal with 9/11, with the fallout from 9/11, with the muslim world as a whole. and then when you see the kinds of events we have right now, it really really hurts what we've been trying to do. >> ifill: you follow some of these jihadist forums online. what is the debate? what are they saying about this? >> for the jihadists themselves, they're not particularly surprised because it fits their world view perfectly. so they see this more as something to be used. i think the idea that this is going to take extremists and make them more extreme is wrong. where it's really playing out is with the mainstream. with al jazeera, you know, the major tv stations, newspapers, those are the ones who, you know, they weren't really very happy with al qaeda. they had been increasingly... al qaeda becoming increasingly marginal to muslim public debate. now the real impact will be
3:30pm
felt with those moderates who already feel besieged with what's happened with the israeli-palestinian conflict and the like. those are the ones who are most likely to be affected by this. >> ifill: does general petraeus, by responding to this, does he elevate that debate? does he give it more credence? >> i think that's already gone. it's already happening over there. it's been... the "burn a koran" day was covered on the major tv stations, the protest about the ground zero mosque was covered heavily on arab tv stations. right now across the arab media and across the blogs and the jihadist forums, newspapers, everywhere, there is a lot of focus on this act that america right now is in the grip of this trend towards anti-islamic rhetoric and actions. there's already a spotlight there. i think general petraeus was simply stating the reality. the undeniable reality that this is going to make things a lot more difficult for our attempts to win over moderate mainstream muslims.
3:31pm
>> ifill: explain to me a bit about the power of image in this kind of debate. we talked about abu ghraib or we heard p.j. crowley talked about it. we talked about the images of mohammed and the writing after that cartoon appeared. what is it about these images and these threats which can so quickly... it's like throwing a match on gasoline. >> the image has become iconic. you remember what it felt like immediately after 9/11 when you saw images of angry arabs or afghans burning american flags. those images, they went through our entire national consciousness. we felt it so deeply. it's the same thing over there. abu ghraib, the scenes of the iconic image from abu ghraib, those things, they get into your mind. they bring everything together and make it coherent. and so we have these sophisticated arguments and debates about american public diplomacy, about strategy and the like. yet if the first thing that
3:32pm
comes to your mind when an american soldier or a diplomat comes and knocks on your door is a man in a hood from abu ghraib or a christian pastor, what appears to be an american christian burning korans, if that's the first image in your mind, you're not going to listen to anything else especially if it confirms what many people have already been saying for years. when it fits that narrative of the u.s. being at war with islam. >> ifill: how do you battle that misperception? not only do we have misperceptions about whether muslims are willing to renounce violence but they have the misperceptions about the american psyche. >> ask michael bloomberg. the mayor of new york with his intervention and the debate about the ground zero mosque, that sparked more conversations and more positive discussion about america than almost anything i've seen. there you saw someone who is not the first person you would expect who would leap into the hearts of the muslims of the world. yet when he just put his foot down and said this is not who america is. this is not what america is
3:33pm
about. people listened over there. that really shows that america is not monolithic. i think our leaders do have an obligation to step in and make that clear. i think that the same is true of those who maybe or opportune itically using this for a political end to understand how dangerous it can be out there in the world. >> ifill: we'll see what happens this saturday in florida. thank you very much, marc lynch, from george washington university. >> thanks, gwen. >> lehrer: >> lehrer: now, the craigslist story. judy woodruff has our report. >> woodruff: for 50 million americans the world's largest classified website craigslist.org is the place to go to swap furniture, land a better job and even find a new pet. but the san francisco-based site also posts ads for adult services. craigslist has long claimed
3:34pm
the spot was created only for legitimate adult businesses. and reportedly the company had expected it to generate $36 million in revenue this year. but this weekend, amid a lot of debate, the company shut down that section and placed a black kr censored" label over where the link used to be. there was no comment from craigslist whether these changes were permanent. but in a blog post last month, craigslist ceo jim buckmaster wrote, "the site aggressively combats violent crime and human rights violations, including human trafficking and the exploitation of minors." buckmaster also defended the company's screening process. he said, it has resulted in a mass exodus of those unwilling to abide by craigslist standards. manually in force on an ad-by-ad basis. but others charge the website
3:35pm
was simply a legal place to swap sex for money. sometimes using code language. >> a typical ad will say, sexy teen girl. if you want to have some fun, i appreciate 150 red roses per hour. >> woodruff: public outcry was bolstered by a series of high- profile incidents including the so-called craigslist killer, philip markoff. a former medical student was accused of kidnapping and assaulting one woman and murdering another in 2009. he had met both women through the website. markoff committed suicide in prison last month while awaiting trial. two weeks ago, attorneys general from 17 states sent craigslist a letter demanding that it take down its adult services section. they chargeded the company wasn't doing enough to deter prostitution and child trafficking. but now some who signed that
3:36pm
letter fear the postings will gravitate to other less monitored categories on the site or other websites entirely. >> if it does migrate to another part of craigslist, this will be another battle that we have to fight in this war. >> woodruff: a quick search on the washington d.c. site came up with several ads listed under the casual encounters section. it sounded similar to prostitution. one read, "i do expect a compensation so e-mail me for details." another," serious inquiries only, please. on-line payment and pay pal accepted." advocates for organizations concerned about sex trafficking and prostitution say they will now focus their efforts on targeting similar ads on other websites. two views now on this decision and its impact. john morris is general counsel at the center for democracy and technology and an expert in
3:37pm
first amendment law. tom miller is the attorney general of the state of iowa. he is one of the 17 attorneys general from around the country who sent the letter to craigslist. we thank you both for being with us. tom miller, i'm going to start with you. how certain are you that craigslist was being used widely and extensively for this sort of illegal activity? this wasn't just isolated incidents. >> this was not isolated incidents at all. we were quite certain . it was broadly used. a reporter at cnn put an ad on of this kind and got 15 responses in three hours. we talked to constituents. we looked at craigslist. it was clear that it was massive in terms of the opportunity for prostitution. it's not just prostitution. it's human trafficking. the terrible, terrible abuse of children. so whatever efforts that they were making to keep people off that would do these things, they were failing.
3:38pm
maybe necessarily were failing. but it was clear, i think, to most everybody that this was a huge source of the information that leads to prostitution and in some cases human trafficking. >> woodruff: john miller, do you dispute that that's what's been going on at craigslist? >> no. it's probably pretty likely these ads were for prostitution. the question is not, are these ads for illegal services and should law enforcement take action against these ads and the people placing them? but the question is really is this the most effective way to do that? we're not sure that it is. also it raises larger questions about how speech on the internet, you know, how law enforcement will respond to speech on the internet. >> woodruff: john miller, what about the decision that craigslist has made now to take this down. >> there are a couple of questions. one is this particular decision, did it come in response to coercion on the behalf of the attorneys general?
3:39pm
i don't think so. the letter they sent didn't threaten anything. aim assuming that there were no threats involved. it was a decision by a single site to take this down. the larger question though is that our society really can't rely on sites like this to review every posting. it's really not realistic. i mean if craigslist or facebook or you-tube had to review every singal posting those sites couldn't exist. in the internet innovation that we have really is the ability of users to put content up online. that's been a good thing. >> woodruff: tom miller, what about that point? iowa? what about this point that it's just unrealistic to expect a website to review every single submission in the kinds of things that craigslist accepts? >> well, you know, first of all, we in iowa benefit greatly from the internet and
3:40pm
its openness and really the interaction and commerce that it causes. so we're very supportive of the internet and business and information through the internet. but we're not talking about reviewing everything that goes on the internet. we're talking about reviewing things that are in very narrow categorys that are very, very clear that abuse can take place and seer i couldn't abuse when you talk about prostitution and human trafficking, to review these kinds of ads. and frustrate this kind of abuse that's not unfair. and it's part of being responsible as a corporate citizen. i agree with john. i don't think that they did this because they were coerced by the attorneys general. they did it because of the public opinion. and because of doing what's right. clearly this is the right thing to do. when this much harm is being caused by this kind of activity to take it off makes every sense in the world.
3:41pm
you know, i hope and trust that they'll keep it off. i think if they do, we'll owe them a real debt of gratitude of doing the right thing. if anything we need in american today it's corporations and politicians for that matter perhaps doing the right thing, doing what's good for the public as opposed to in some rare cases what's good for the bottom line. >> woodruff: john morris, what's the argument against that? essentially what they're saying is we were not legally obligated or that craigslist wasn't legally obligated. they did the right corporate citizen... the right corporate citizen thing. >> you're exactly right. as a legal matter they had no obligation to take this down or even to monitor it at all. they made it a corporate decision to take it down. again we don't really know exactly why. they've not made a public statement since then. the argument against it is that these ads will still get placed on places around face book. they were previously aggregated into one category
3:42pm
that law enforcement would be able to easily monitor and pursue. now they're going to be spread out over face book and also over other websites. >> woodruff: you're singling out face book. >> i'm sorry. i don't mean face book. craigslist. they'll show up on other places on craigslist. i wasn't meaning face book. >> woodruff: tom miller, what about that? we've heard others make the same argument that closing down this one adult section will drive these kinds of ads and it apparently already has to craigslist more broadly and other sites making it even harder to go after any illegal activity. >> well, this is a concept, a dynamic that we encounter in law enforcement fairly often. you know, that the problem is diffuse and in a lot of different places so where do you start? you start with the big one. this is one of the biggest if not the biggest location for these kinds of ads. so, you know, in our effort in
3:43pm
the court of public opinion in trying to do the right thing, the largest or one of largest does the right thing. that has significant and tangible effect on everybody. hopefully a significant effect on any anybody. so this was important. very important to start here and start at one of the biggest ones. then we have other issues to deal with. on their site and on other sites. we're going to try and do that. what it started here is that we and others have pricked the conscience of americans in the court of public opinion. some good things are happening because of that. more good things in this area will happen as a result, i believe. >> woodruff: john morris, you've made the case too that craigslist can be viewed in a way like a telephone service. it's a pipeline, a tool. not a perpetrator of criminal activity. are you saying that there's really no line that can be drawn when it comes to the internet and this kind of activity? >> i mean it's not so much
3:44pm
that you can't draw a line but the people, the prostitutes were killed in the old days through newspaper, you know, after newspaper ads. we didn't call out the washington poift killer but ... the "washington post" killer but in today's media age with people point to go the internet as kind of a root of all evil, we really have a heightened concern about , you know, bad things that flow from the internet. you know, i think at the end of the day the internet does have some special considerations in terms of just how much content is there and how we are to monitor it. >> woodruff: tom miller a concluding thought on what obligations internet sites like craigslist have. >> i think the internet sites and everybody has an obligation to be concerned about prostitution and human trafficking. we just had a case of human
3:45pm
trafficking in western iowa. just awful abuse of young people. when these ads and this kind of issue is raised , americans need to think about the overall consequences to everybody. which for some are very severe. so i think that, you know, as i say, we're pricking the conscience of americans on this issue and hopefully americans are responding in the right way to do the right thing because this is a serious problem. this is one of the ways to address that problem. >> woodruff: tom miller, attorney general for the state of iowa. john morris here in washington, thank you both. >> thank you very much. >> ifill: finally tonight, a celebration of dance takes center stage at the white house today, as first lady michelle obama inaugurates a series of workshops and performances, featuring styles from ballet to
3:46pm
hip hop. the first honoree is renowned dancer, choreographer, and longtime head of the alvin ailey american dance theater, judith jamison. jeffrey brown profiled jamison and the remarkable company she helped build earlier this year. here's a second look. ♪ >> brown: from its beginning 51 years ago the american dance theater has been a celebration of african-american culture and black dancers and choreographers who found few opportunities elsewhere to work. ♪ >> brown: on a recent night at the city center theater in new york, the celebration continued. now focused on the woman who has long been the face of the company, judith jamison, dancer, choreographer and artistic director who has just announced she's stepping down next year.
3:47pm
>> what we try to do is express our humanity as we're showing you these not just steps but we're showing you parts of life. through our movement, through what we're doing. >> brown: you're showing parts of life. >> we are. that's the idea. even in its abstract form. >> brown: jamison grew up in philadelphia. her father a carpenter, her mother a school teacher. she began to dance at age 6, her first stage a sheet on a backyard clothes line. at home she also learned her mantra for success, for dance and life. >> pray, prepare and proceed. >> brown: pray, prepare and proceed. >> yes. there's always a lot of prayer in my house. preparing, gosh, if you start dancing when you're six years old, you know, i think that's preparing. >> brown: and then proceed. >> proceed means when the curtain goes up you go for it with excellence. with confidence. i mean the curtain goes up on your life every day.
3:48pm
you open your eyes and the curtain is up. >> brown: jamison made her new york debut with the new york blue jay theater in 1964 and then met the man who would change her life. the legendary founder of the company and creator of such landmark works as revelations. for 15 years jamison , 5'10" tall, full bodied, fearless on stage, was the most famous dancer in the company and one of the most famous in the world. her signature piece, a 16-minute solo choreographed by her husband was titled "cry." when he died in 1989, jamison succeeded him. she had stoppeded dancing the year before. she talked to the newshour's charlayne hunter-gault then about her goals. >> mr. ailey was so specific about his african-american
3:49pm
heritage that what he had to say about movement became universal because it spoke to the human conditions so if revelation was done in russia, toledo or tokyo, he have one understood what that message was about. what i'd like to do is continue that history but not make the american dance theater a museum. >> brown: 20 years later at age 66, she says this. >> the changes have beens that i've made my selections, my choices on what blue jays would come in and who the dancers would be. but still adhering to that initial vision that said we should celebrate the african- american cultural expression and experience in the modern dance tradition of our country. >> brown: i was reading a memoir. you say in there that alvin ailee used to speak of what he called the blood memories. >> yeah, blood memories. >> brown: what does that mean? >> look to your ancestors before you look ahead. so it informs you. it gives you a root.
3:50pm
it gives you a basis to stand on. you know where you come from. it gives you... you're not standing on sand. you're standing on rock. you're standing on solid ground. >> brown: five years ago the company built its own office and rehearsal space in midtown manhattan. eight floors, 77,000 square feet, said to be the largest building dedicated solely to dance in the u.s. thousands of children and adults take classes there. classical ballet , african , and the horton, a style of modern dance named for ailee's mentor. jamison has helped make ailee an international brand. 30 professional dancers tour constantly. to date the company has performed in 71 countries for an estimated 23 million
3:51pm
people. >> please welcome the alvin ailee american dance theater. ♪. >> brown: and last year they appeared on the popular abc prime time show dancing with the stars. jamison was skeptical at first but then came around. >> the world is full of ways for people to dance. concert dance doesn't get its due. when we get our opportunity, there we are. >> brown: i often find when i'm talking to people that dance for many people seems the hardest one to get. the least accessible. >> yes. >> brown: they don't get it. >> that's okay. >> brown: that's okay. >> yes. it's just fine. all we want you to do is get in the theater. you know, there's nothing like live performance. you have to remember there's no test at the end of it. it's like looking at a painting. you know, you look at a painting. do you get something from it or you don't get something. it moves you or doesn't move you. you know. there's nobody strapping you in your seat and saying you've
3:52pm
got to get this. >> brown: in april the company announced that choreographer robert battle will succeed jamison as artistic director next year. when we talked she expressed confidence in group's future. >> we will continue to be inclusive and to engage the community and the world toward us understanding that we're all the same under the skin. >> brown: i'm wondering about the young dancers who come to you now. do they know the past? do they care about it in the same way, the mission you were talking about? >> they do. they have to. otherwise what are they here for? there's no point. if you're just here to see how many pirouettes you can do or how high you can raise your leg or how high you can jump, you know, that's not what gives memories. i mean, people don't remember me for how high my legs were even though they were up very high and how many pirouettes i did. they don't remember me for that. they remember me and any other
3:53pm
dancer because something touched them inside. it's an indelible memory on the heart and in the mind. >> brown: judith jamison won't say what's next for her but promises more surprises. the alvin ailee american dance theater will celebrate her legacy throughout the come being year. ... throughout the coming year. >> lehrer: again the major developments of this day. new polls showed increasing bad news for democrats heading into the mid-term elections. and general david petraeus, the top commander of u.s. and nato forces in afghanistan warned a florida pastor'plan to burn the koran could incite violence against american troops. and to hari sreenivasan in our news room for what's on the newshour online. >> sreenivasan: watch dance performances from the alvin ailey dance theater and see more of jeff's interview with judith jamison. david chalian talks to gwen and
3:54pm
judy about the new polls on this week's political checklist, a regular video feature from our politics beat. all that and more is on our web site, newshour.pbs.org. >> lehrer: and again, to our honor roll of american service personnel killed in the iraq and afghanistan conflicts. we add them as their deaths are made official and photographs become available. here, in silence, are ten more.
3:55pm
>> ifill: and that's the newshour for tonight. on wednesday, we'll look at president obama's plan to allow businesses to write off capital investments. i'm gwen ifill. >> lehrer: and i'm jim lehrer. we'll see you online, and again here tomorrow evening. thank you, and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
3:56pm
and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by
3:57pm
3:58pm
3:59pm
- beaches resorts is a proud sponsor of "the electric company," connecting bright ideas and countless outlets for high-energy excitement. announcer: find your voice and share it. american greetings-- proud sponsor of "the electric company." from the u.s. department of education's ready to learn grant, and... - good morning. come to the grand opening of sigmund's scramblers habit-breaking hypnotism tent. ha ha! no? hey, oh, good morning.